Stock Code


Shenzhen Megmeet Welding Technology Co.,Ltd.jpg

MIG/MAG Pulse Welding – Why do we use it?

MIG/MAG pulse welding is a welding technique that uses a pulsating current to control the metal transfer from the wire electrode to the weld pool. It is a variation of the conventional MIG/MAG welding process, which uses a constant current and a continuous arc. Pulse welding offers several advantages over conventional welding, such as better weld quality, higher productivity, lower heat input, and reduced spatter. In this article, we will explain the principles, applications, and benefits of MIG/MAG pulse welding.

I. The evolution of MIG/MAG pulse welding

MIG (Metal Inert Gas) and MAG (Metal Active Gas) welding processes have seen significant advancements, particularly in the realm of pulse welding. Pulse welding involves the alternation between high and low currents during the welding process. This evolution has been driven by the need for greater control, efficiency, and quality in welding operations.

Initially, conventional MIG/MAG welding relied on continuous current to melt the electrode wire and fuse the metal joints. However, pulse welding brought about improvements by introducing intermittent pulses of current. This innovation offered several advantages such as reducing heat input, improving control, enhancing welding quality, and widening the welding application range.

Recent advancements in pulse welding technology have focused on refining pulse waveform designs, improving synergic control systems, and integrating advanced automation and robotics. Manufacturers have developed sophisticated welding machines with user-friendly interfaces that enable welders to fine-tune parameters easily for specific applications.

Furthermore, advancements in filler wire materials, gas mixtures, and shielding gases have complemented the evolution of pulse welding, contributing to enhanced weld quality, reduced spatter, and improved overall efficiency.

Pulsed Welding Technology Solves Sheet Metal Problems.

II. How does MIG/MAG pulse welding work?

MIG/MAG pulse welding works by alternating between two current levels: a high peak current and a low background current. The peak current is high enough to melt and detach a single droplet of the same or slightly smaller diameter as the wire electrode. The background current is low enough to maintain the arc but does not cause any metal transfer. The cycle of peak and background current is repeated at a high frequency, typically from a few Hertz to a few hundred Hertz.

The metal transfer in pulse welding is non-contact, meaning that the droplet does not touch the weld pool before it is detached. This reduces the risk of short circuits, spatter, and arc instability. The size and frequency of the droplets can be controlled by adjusting the pulse parameters, such as peak current, background current, pulse duration, and pulse frequency. Modern welding machines have synergic modes that automatically adjust the pulse parameters according to the wire feed speed, wire diameter, and shielding gas composition.

III. What are the advantages of MIG/MAG pulse welding?

MIG/MAG pulse welding has several advantages over conventional welding, especially in the low to medium power range, where the standard arc variants are either too cold (dip transfer arc) or too hot (spray arc). Some of the main advantages are:

  1. Better weld quality: Pulse welding produces smooth, spatter-free welds with uniform penetration and minimal distortion. It also reduces the risk of porosity, undercut, and lack of fusion. Pulse welding can achieve higher deposition rates and welding speeds than conventional welding in all positions.

  2. Higher productivity: Pulse welding allows the use of larger wire diameters and longer stick-out lengths, which increase the efficiency and reduce the downtime of the welding process. It also enables the use of one wire and one gas for a wide range of materials and thicknesses, simplifying the setup and operation of the welding machine.

  3. Lower heat input: Pulse welding reduces the heat input to the workpiece, which minimizes the heat-affected zone and the residual stresses. This improves the mechanical properties and the dimensional accuracy of the weldment. It also reduces the risk of distortion, cracking, and warping, especially for thin and heat-sensitive materials.

  4. Reduced spatter: Pulse welding eliminates the explosive droplet detachment that occurs in conventional welding, which causes spatter and contamination. Spatter not only affects the appearance and quality of the weld, but also increases the cost and time of cleaning and rework. Pulse welding reduces the spatter by up to 90%, saving material, energy, and labor.

IV. What are the applications of MIG/MAG pulse welding?

MIG/MAG pulse welding is suitable for a wide range of applications, such as:

  1. Automotive industry: Pulse welding is widely used in the automotive industry for welding body panels, chassis, frames, exhaust systems, and other components. It can weld different materials, such as steel, aluminum, and magnesium, with high quality and efficiency. It also reduces the weight and fuel consumption of the vehicles by enabling the use of thinner and lighter materials.

  2. Construction industry: Pulse welding is used in the construction industry for welding structural steel, pipes, tanks, bridges, and other components. It can weld thick and thin sections, as well as complex joints, with high strength and durability. It also reduces the distortion and deformation of the structures by lowering the heat input and the residual stresses.

  3. Shipbuilding industry: Pulse welding is used in the shipbuilding industry for welding hulls, decks, bulkheads, and other components. It can weld large and long welds, as well as curved and angled surfaces, with high speed and quality. It also reduces the corrosion and fatigue of the welds by improving the metallurgical and mechanical properties of the weld metal.

IV. Tips for MIG/MAG Pulse Welding

  1. Understand the Equipment: Familiarize yourself with the welding machine and its settings. Know how to adjust parameters like pulse frequency, peak current, background current, and pulse duration.

  2. Select the Right Wire and Gas: Choose the appropriate welding wire and shielding gas for the materials you're working with. Consult welding charts or guidelines to match the wire diameter and material thickness.

  3. Prepare the Surface: Ensure that the surfaces to be welded are clean and free of contaminants. Proper cleaning and surface preparation improve the quality of the weld.

  4. Adjust Pulse Parameters: Experiment with pulse settings to find the ideal parameters for the specific job. Factors like material thickness, joint configuration, and desired penetration affect the optimal pulse settings.

  5. Maintain Proper Technique: Maintain a consistent travel speed and gun angle throughout the welding process. Proper technique ensures even deposition and minimizes defects like undercutting or lack of fusion.

  6. Monitor and Control Heat Input: Pulse welding helps manage heat input, reducing distortion and minimizing the heat-affected zone. Pay attention to the heat input to prevent warping or distortion in the welded material.

  7. Practice and Experiment: Practice on scrap material to get a feel for the pulse welding technique. Experiment with different settings and techniques to understand how they affect the weld quality.

  8. Inspect and Evaluate: After welding, inspect the weld for quality. Check for defects such as cracks, porosity, or incomplete fusion. Use non-destructive testing methods if necessary.

  9. Safety First: Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when welding, including a welding helmet, gloves, and protective clothing. Ensure proper ventilation in the workspace.

  10. Seek Knowledge and Guidance: Keep learning and stay updated with new techniques, materials, and equipment. Consider taking courses, attending workshops, or seeking advice from experienced welders.

VI. Conclusion

MIG/MAG pulse welding is a welding technique that uses a pulsating current to control the metal transfer from the wire electrode to the weld pool. It offers several advantages over conventional welding, such as better weld quality, higher productivity, lower heat input, and reduced spatter. It is suitable for a wide range of applications, such as automotive, construction, and shipbuilding, where it can weld different materials, thicknesses, and positions with high efficiency and reliability. MIG/MAG pulse welding is a modern and versatile welding process that can meet the demands of various industries and applications.

Related articles:

1. Identifying and solving tungsten electrode and arc issues

2. TIG Welding Tips for Beginner and Intermediate Welders

3. How to Solve 10 Common TIG Welding Problems [Guide]

4. TIG Welding: A Guide to Top-Quality Connections

5. MIG/MAG, MMA, TIG Welding: Choosing the Right Technique